One of BMW's best ever engines has found a new home.
If you could build your perfect BMW M3 by taking all the best bits from each generation of the iconic model, what would yours look like? Maybe the purity of the E30's handling mixed with the E36's effortlessly cool dolphin-shape styling, the E46's naturally aspirated inline-six engine, and the F80's slick dual-clutch gearbox?
Well, someone decided to mix at least two of these ingredients by putting the E46's revered S54 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine into the body of the E30. Currently bidding on Bring A Trailer for $45,000, it combines the charm of the original with one of the best engines BMW ever built. It's not the first time that the S54 engine made its way into an unlikely BMW.
While the original E30 had a 2.3-liter four-cylinder producing 192 horsepower, the E46's high-revving six-pot made a much burlier 338 hp, so one can only imagine how much quicker this blue-painted version is. While not nearly as original as the 1988 BMW M3 E30 that just sold for $250,000, this version is all about that motor, which looks enormous in the compact engine bay.
It's also fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox, 17-inch DTM-style wheels, and smoked headlights. Koni shocks and Ground Control front coilovers form part of the modified suspension setup.
Inside, there are some great Recaro sport seats with blue stitching, along with a Renown steering wheel.
To account for the high-revving motor, a tachometer that reads all the way to 9,000 rpm has been installed. The one aspect we're unsure about is the comically long gear shift lever, but interested buyers who don't like it should be able to find a replacement part.
The S54 engine had just under 100,000 miles on it before it was sourced for the E30, but the true mileage is unknown. It's worth noting that this car was reported stolen early in its life before being recovered in 1992. It was later issued with a reconstructed salvage title and, in 2003, damage to the left front pillar was noted.
So, although it doesn't have the most squeaky clean back story, if it turns out to be in good mechanical shape, it's definitely one of the most unique - and quickest - E30 M3s anywhere.